Not All Choice Opponents Are Religiously Motivated
Without debating the morality of abortion or who should be allowed to perform the procedure, I would like to point out an error in your editorial, “Maryland’s Choice to Support Women’s Reproductive Rights – and Medical Science” (April 11 ).
Your reference to “deeply held religious beliefs about pregnancy and whether women should have control over their bodies” is a misinterpretation of your opponents’ point of view, so you can quickly come to your conclusion about the imposition of religious beliefs on others (and presumably its scandalous impropriety in a democracy). As if the pro-lifers were trying to enshrine in law the divinity of Christ (a true religious belief that requires the will to compel the intellect to assent).
In labeling opposition to a woman’s right to choose a religious belief, the editorial board of the Baltimore Sun says it is not based on any evidence and should therefore, for the health of the Republic, be completely dismissed. It’s a philosophical sleight of hand. Opposition to abortion is not necessarily a religious belief. It’s like his opinion on theft or assault (opposed to which most, if not all, societies have legislated on the basis of evidence). That religious systems include such opposition in their moral codes does not make it a case of religious belief.
I think atheists who oppose abortion might be surprised to learn that they are, in fact, religious believers. Opposition to abortion is an opinion based on evidence. People can disagree about how to interpret this evidence and in a democracy citizens have the right to debate their opinions and convince with arguments.
John R. Devine, Baltimore
Add your voice: Respond to this article or other Sun content by submit your own letter.